Society

Alex Kane: Unionists need to be ready for eventuality of Border poll

Referendum is inevitable and they should participate in preparing the ground for it Alex Kane The Irish Times In 2017 unionists, for the first time ever, lost their overall majority in a Northern Ireland parliament; in local council elections three weeks ago they lost their overall majority of councillors; and… Surely, some argue, those losses, along with other shifts in opinion and electoral support, suggest that it is not unreasonable to conclude that a victory for unity in a border ... Read More »

What to Make of the European Elections

Right-wing populism is still growing—and has already established itself as a fixture on the political stage. Yascha Mounk The Atlantic The sheer scale of the European elections, coupled with the huge differences among the parties that were on the ballot from Sweden to Greece, makes it possible to find evidence for just about any story about the results. Perhaps because the rise of far-right populism has, three years after the surprise victory of Brexit and the shock election of Donald ... Read More »

UK government ‘risks another Windrush’ over EU citizens, MPs say

The government runs the risk of another Windrush scandal if “serious concerns” about its EU settlement scheme are not addressed, MPs have said. BBC The Commons Home Affairs Committee said technical issues had “blighted” the scheme, with some struggling to navigate the online application system. It said people who have lived for years in the UK could face uncertainty over their rights and eligibility to remain. But the Home Office said the scheme was “performing well”. It had “taken… UK ... Read More »

New Zealand ‘wellbeing’ budget promises billions to care for most vulnerable

Widespread praise for ‘world-first’ budget tackling mental illness, family violence and child poverty Eleanor Ainge Roy The Guardian After more than a year of curiosity and speculation, New Zealand’s Labour coalition government has unveiled its “world-first” wellbeing budget, to widespread praise from social agencies charged with looking after the… The finance minister, Grant Robertson, unveiled billions for mental health services and child poverty as well as record investment in measures to tackle family violence. “Success is making New Zealand both a ... Read More »

Maritime trials and tribulations

The guilty verdict handed down in a Sao Tome and Principe courtroom echoed across the globe. Africa Defense Forum © defenceWeb A Chilean captain and two Spanish crew members of the notorious fishing vessel the Thunder were sentenced to two to three years in prison and fined a total of $15 million. For the tiny Gulf of Guinea island that relies heavily on the sea economy, it felt like a rare win in a losing battle against illegal fishing. “This ... Read More »

Julian Assange too ill to appear in court via video link, lawyers say

Hearing is latest stage in possible extradition of WikiLeaks founder to US Ben Quinn The Guardian Julian Assange was too ill to appear by video link for the latest hearing in relation to his possible extradition to the US, lawyers for the WikiLeaks founder told a court. The hearing was the first since 2 May, when lawyers for the US government began pressing its case to extradite him to face trial for what they described as one the largest compromises of classified information ... Read More »

Brexit: UK car production plunges amid ‘untold damage’ of EU leave date chaos

April manufacturing fell 44.5% as factories shut down for an EU exit that never came Rob Davies The Guardian Car production plunged by nearly half in April as factories shut down to prepare for a Brexit date that never came, prompting renewed anguish from the UK motor industry at the “untold damage” done by prolonged uncertainty. In a slump that the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) described as “extraordinary”, 70,971 vehicles rolled off the production lines in April, down 44.5% ... Read More »

Which Euroskeptic parties have the most momentum?

League and Brexit Party surge, but there was mixed news for France’s National Rally. By RYAN HEATH, CORNELIUS HIRSCH AND FRANCESCO PICCINELLI Politico Coverage of the European Parliament election often focuses on the 2019 results. But in this graphic we have added the context of 2014 results, to more accurately represent whether a national party has positive momentum. Overall, Euroskeptic parties are on an upward trend, but the picture varies from country to country, and sometimes within a country. In the Czech Republic ... Read More »

Ken Wyatt sworn in as minister for Indigenous Australians in historic first

In a historic first, an Aboriginal man has been sworn in as minister for Indigenous Australians. Source : AAP – SBS Noongar man Ken Wyatt has made history by being the first Aboriginal person to be sworn in as minister for Indigenous Australians. Mr Wyatt, the member for the West Australian seat of Hasluck, received a rapturous applause as he was sworn in on Wednesday as the first Aboriginal person to take on the Indigenous Affairs portfolio in cabinet. “Can ... Read More »

‘A lot of wrongs to repair’: Justice Michael Kirby calls for national bill of rights

As a high court judge for more than 30 years Michael Kirby knows the law – and he’s using his expertise to call for a national bill of rights. Gloria Kalache SBS A former high court judge has called for Australia to adopt a national bill of human rights. Michael Kirby argues the country has a less than perfect record in protecting the rights of minorities and believes a national bill of rights could make the difference. “We’ve had a lot ... Read More »

Iran’s Crown Prince Strikes Back

Pahlavi wants the United States to fundamentally change how it thinks about Iran. Over the past few weeks, the Trump administration has turned up the heat on Tehran. Ilan Berman The National Interest Way up. As part of a “maximum pressure” campaign aimed at curbing the malign international activities of Iran’s ruling regime, the White House has dramatically intensified sanctions, blacklisted the… But to what end? President Donald Trump has said repeatedly that he would be willing to negotiate a ... Read More »

Homelessness soars in our biggest cities, driven by rising inequality since 2001

Homelessness has increased greatly in Australian capital cities since 2001. Almost two-thirds of people experiencing homelessness are in these cities, with much of the growth associated with severely crowded dwellings and rough sleeping. Authors: The Conversation Homelessness in major cities, especially severe crowding, has risen disproportionately in areas with a shortage of affordable private rental housing and higher median rents. Severe crowding is also strongly associated with weak labour markets and poorer areas with a… These are some of the ... Read More »

Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions up for four years in a row

Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions in 2018 rose for a fourth year in a row, an increase at odds with the country’s Paris climate pledge, according to a government submission to the… Peter Hannam The Sydney Morning Herald The National Inventory Report to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change showed emissions last year were 537 million tonnes of carbon dioxide-equivalent (which include… That tally, which includes changes to land-use and forestry, was up 0.4 per cent from 2017’s 534.7 million tonnes ... Read More »

Traffic jams are just one of the problems facing climbers on Everest

As the last teams leave the mountain, alpinists and pundits argue about how and why things went awry; exclusive new photos Photograph by Mark Fisher/Fisher Creative, National Geographic By Freddie Wilkinson Kathmandu, NepalOn Monday, Christopher Kulish, a 62-year-old attorney from Boulder, Colorado, died at Camp 4, located on the South Col at 26,000 feet, after returning from the summit of Mount Everest. According to Kulish’s brother, an initial assessment indicates Kulish died of cardiac arrest, not altitude sickness. His death ... Read More »

Carelessly linking crime to being homeless adds to the harmful stigma

The news of Courtney Herron’s death has shocked Melburnians. While full details are yet to emerge, both she and the man charged with murdering her have been widely reported as being homeless. Authors: The Conversation It’s revealing how news media use this information in framing their coverage of what happened. Media use of the term “homeless” is rarely neutral. This is not to say someone’s housing status should never be included in reporting such events. However, we should be wary ... Read More »

Boris Johnson could go on trial for ‘lying and misleading’ in Brexit campaign, judge orders

Judge summonses MP to court after throwing out arguments that allegations are ‘vexatious’ attempt to undermine Brexit Lizzie Dearden Independent Boris Johnson faces trial for allegedly “lying and misleading the British public” about the consequences of Brexit. A judge summonsed the Conservative MP to appear in court after a member of the public launched a private prosecution over claims EU membership was costing the UK £350m a week. District Judge Margot Coleman threw out arguments by Mr Johnson’s lawyers that the case was a… Boris Johnson ... Read More »